5-Star Bore


The heron knows, perhaps? He seems to wink
before he launches into long-legged flight,
the river mirroring his greys; the pink
of feet is startling in the sombre light
this morning. Drizzle, damp. But still the crowds
are here, with eager eyes and lenses aimed
downstream. It’s even darker there. Black clouds
hang languorously, rumbling and untamed...

A shout: “It’s coming!” Suddenly a froth
of white on either side rears up. “Get back!”
A father’s warning. Hissing sounds, the wrath
of tide, two metres high, advance, attack!
And riding it, a line of surfers, sleek
in wetsuits, cresting, kayakers as well;
the banks give up their deadhead sedges, weak
then vanquished in the surge of Severn swell.

The aftermath is churning water, mud
and broken limbs, the fallen from a storm
that swept the county, roaring fit to flood
two years ago. Another warring form,
but now I hear the surfers’ shouts and smile,
imagining the rush through salt and spray
until the weir, just past the twentieth mile,
before the bore turns, back to Sharpness Bay.

Felicity Teague

If you have any thoughts about this poem,  Felicity Teague would be pleased to hear them